Collage of Life-the beginning

Painting and Poetry

As an expat, you learn to live 
with saying goodbye
 and the feelings that overwhelm 
you with each move.

It starts with the family and friends 
from your home country
 and then it is for the 
friends and countries you have 
lived in and left behind.  

The 'feeling' reaches in 
and sits heavy on your heart. 

I felt the best way to 'let it all out' 
was to create a painting 
representing everything I felt.

It was a challenge, 
as I had never painted before.
Finding an art studio 
and an art teacher to help me 
set my ideas onto canvas 
was no small task..
but I did it.

As I progressed, 
I discovered many things about myself
and through the months 
I slowly began to feel at ease 
with my new home

The images and words 
in the painting above
represented my feelings 
about 'home' New England.

I called on poets, 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 
Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson 
and used their words as inspiration. 

A few free word associations came about. 
"A boys will is the wind's will"
written in "My Lost Youth" by Longfellow
" A women's will is the wind's will"
for me.

Other words written into 
the painting...

Return the traveller to the shore.

Often I think of the beautiful town 

that is seated by the sea,
And my youth comes back to me.

I took the road less travelled by 
and that has made all the difference.

A Quietness Distilled.

Shape the thoughts that stir within. 

It was 2003,
and I named the painting
'Collage of Life'

In 2009, 
when I started to write 
outside my journal,
it  seemed a natural for the 
name of this blog as well. 

Another outlet to 
shape the thoughts that stir within.

Welcome to my first blog post on
Collage of Life.

Collage of Life 
by Jeanne Henriques


  1. Hi Jean,
    You've reflected the significance of HOME in such a heart-full way here. Thank you for passing on this link to me. It made me reflect on my own situation.

  2. It's quite special going back to read your first post. I hope your homesickness has abated somewhat.
    Your collage is gorgeous
    Thank you again Jeanne :) I'll post again soon.

  3. Dear Jeanne, Have just read your very first post. What a beautiful painting! Love the black and white images mixed in with the paper collage - reminds me of a photo album, or pages from an old journal. I know what it's like to be homesick so much your heart feels like it will never recover. And also to experience that 'lost' feeling when you don't know which country you really belong in. I've lived in 4 countries and we may well be moving to our 5th later this year, if my partner gets his dream job with the Republicans. But just think about how lucky we are to see such places! In the end, the pros do outweigh the cons. Hope you're having a marvellous time in Marrakech! Sorry this is comment is so long... Janelle McCulloch xx


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